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BUYERS

LAST MINUTE IS OK

If you get a call that a buyer wants to see your house in 15 minutes, then for God’s sake, no, for your sake, let them see the house!…yes, even if it’s a bit messy. 

Last-minute types are known to make impulsive decisions, and as such might decide to buy a house that day.  As a general rule, if someone wants to see your house, let them! Whenever it is. 

 

 NO PLUG IN AIR FRESHENERS 

You know those Plug-in air fresheners, well, not too many people like those.  They are actually a turnoff to a lot of people. 

So if you want your house to smell good, bake cookies right before a showing. This will hit em twice, because you can then offer them a delicious treat while they look at your house.  Now, we don’t want to get too psychological on this one, BUT the pleasure of eating a tasty treat is now associated with your home, which is now a more pleasurable memory than say, if they saw a house without cookies!  Pretty sly eh? 

DON'T SKIP THE FINAL WALK THROUGH

It's absolutely imperative!!! Don’t skip the final walk-through.

DO NOT SKIP THE FINAL WALK THROUGH!!!

It’s your very last chance to confirm all repairs were done properly, that the owner’s personal items have been removed, and that the items you agreed should stay are still there. It’s not uncommon for these things to mysteriously grow legs!  So, do the final walk through!  

NEIGHBORHOOD KNOWLEDGE

Your agent should be familiar with the neighborhood. One of the number one complaints from buyers is that their real-estate agent didn’t know, or didn’t warn them about, key issues in a new neighborhood.  While your agent can’t share the economic standing or predominant ethnic background of the people in the area or the local crime rate (as it violates fair housing laws, they can provide you with resources where you can find out this kind of info for yourself.  They should also be able to tell you if there is a bus stop or train near-by, that goes past every 20 minutes.  Your agent should take you around the neighborhood in the morning, afternoon and night, in order to get a real sense of what the area is like.  

BIDDING WARS

Multiple offers, which are common in hot real-estate markets, are a sellers dream, however many qualified buyers are left in the dust. BUT someone has to win the war.  How do you ensure it’s you?  

Well, again, it comes down to your agent. An agent who is well acquainted with other agents in the area and is a skilled negotiator is are two important traits.  Someone whose read Sun Tzu’s “Art Of War” is an even better bet.   You just want your agent ready to go into battle, fully prepared for the fight ahead.  Someone whose been around the block a few times.  Tell your agent what your absolute highest bid would be, this will ensure there is no confusion once the bullets start flying.  This information will give your agent a powerful advantage when working with the seller’s agent, especially when other Agent’s don’t know this information for their clients. 

Now, this requires something from you too, buyers.  You need to be honest with yourselves.  There is a notorious saying in the Real Estate Industry: “Buyers are Liars.”  Buyers will often say things like: “This is as high as I’m willing to go”…then weeks later, change their mind.  This is especially true when losing a bid.  Buyers will say “Oh, I would have gone up  more!”.  This hurts you.  You need to know your absolute highest bid and let your agent know from the start.  The Real Estate Market today moves way too fast, and those who aren’t prepared, lose.  So, be honest from the get go.  

How it works to your advantage:  Once you as a buyer have set a ceiling, your agent can start strategizing.  They can settle on a price and then throw in extras like, covering closing costs, and title insurance, or waiving appraisal fees and other contingencies, all while staying under your ceiling.  It’s not just the home price that matters, it’s often these extra little bits that seal the deal.  

SELLERS

CHOOSE YOUR AGENT WISELY

Beware of Agents who overestimate your home’s selling price. 

Every agent is hoping you’ll choose them over other agents, so, some Agents will say whatever makes you happy in order to secure you as a client, and since homeowners love hearing that their house is worth a lot of money, some agents will price too high, setting unreal expectations for their Sellers.  They in other words “buy your listing”.  AVOID THIS.  It will hurt you in the long run and only guarantees your home will sit on the market for a very long time, and after that long time, Sellers will have no choice but to lower the asking price….which presents a whole bunch of unwanted perceptions of the home.   

On the flip side:

Some Agent’s undercut the price in-order to generate a quick sale and a commission for themselves, even though it may not be the best price for the seller.  

So, it’s extremely important to choose an experienced Agent with a proven track record.  Someone who knows the market, prices your home right, and sells quickly, without sacrificing any money in your pocket.  How do you secure one of these unicorn Agents? Start by googling them, see if they pop-up, then check the listing agent’s references, request a detailed marketing plan, and then meet personally to discuss what the agent can and cannot do for you, during this meeting ask how many transactions they’ve completed this year.  This will tell you right away if it’s someone you want to work with.    

A savvy agent can also put more money in your pocket in non-conventional ways, ways only an experienced agent can do, like:Subtracting furniture, appliances and other personal property from the total price, then having the buyer write a personal check for those items.  This revised home value means a lower transfer tax for the Seller, and a lower property tax for the Buyer.  Not too shabby. 

Simple Things Go A Long Way:

CLEAR COUNTERS

We’re Americans, and for whatever reason we absolutely love vast, wide-open counter space.  So, just clear your counters!   It's that simple. 

STAGE YOUR HOME!  BUT DON'T BE TACKY!

Yes, staging your home by getting rid of clutter and bringing in furniture or accessories can help it sell. 

...But music, champagne glasses next to the bed and fake pies on the countertop? That's a little much, and it will turn some buyers off.

HELP YOURSELF! YOUR NEIGHBORS WON'T.

If your house is for sale and the lawn next door is starting to look overgrown, just go cut the grass for your neighbors. Especially if you have an open house coming up!  It’s a small thing, but it can make a huge difference.

YOUNG BUYERS DON'T WANT OLD HOUSES.

Surveys of home buyers show that many people have a preference for environmentally friendly, technologically up-to-date dwellings that require no more than superficial repairs.

This is especially true of Millennials, now in their 20s and early 30s. According to a study by market researcher GfK Roper Reports, Millennials will bail on a house immediately, if the house is old, tacky and well, uncool.  Millennials want a fun house!  They want the Whirlpool bath, a game room, large walk in closets, a swimming pool; these are all dream home amenities for Millennials. After all, what do you expect from a generation who grew up watching MTV Cribs.  The survey showed High-tech entertainment centers and a sauna/steam room also make their fantasy list, while State-of-the-art kitchens,were less of a priority.

A Better Homes and Garden Real Estate‚Äč Survey of 18-35 year olds, conducted by Wakefield Research, found that 64% of respondents said they would not consider living in a home that lacks the latest technology. Even more, 84% of Millennials surveyed said technology is an “absolute essential” for their homes.

More than Millennials, more and more people are looking for Move-In ready homes.  It's just the world we live in today.  People have the money, just not the time to make repairs or upgrades.  

However, if your home isn't techy-fresh! Don't feel glum.  There are simple things like a fresh coat of paint, window treatments, refinished hardwood floors and new carpeting, that can make all the difference. These things will breathe new life into old homes and are relatively affordable.  If it is beautiful and you price it well, it will sell! 

If you want more expert Home Buying OR Selling Tips, give the Rose Price Team a Call!  We love what we do and can make it work for you! If you're not quite ready to chat, use our Buyers and Sellers resources on the website.  They're Completely FREE!

Eight Simple Ways to Add Curb Appeal

by Rose Price

Need help selling your Champaign home? Add some curb appeal!  Some of the tips can be downright overwhelming! Want to improve the view from the other side of the curb without breaking the bank or making remodeling your full time job?

Here are eight easy tips to help you with your curb appeal!

1. Look at the big picture. Some things should go without saying. But the truth is that after you've lived with fading trim or a cracked driveway for a year or two, you probably don't even see it anymore. Remember that people are not going to look at your home the same way that you do, Ask your real estate agent, or a trusted friend to look at the front of your home with a new set of eyes. Would they be interested in the home if they didn't know you? If not, what are the turn-offs?

And always do the obvious: keep the lawn mowed and the gutters clear. Trim the bushes, get rid of any dead branches and fix anything that's hanging or broken. And keep outdoor lights on in the evening and in good working order, the better to show off your house 24-7.

2. Got a brass doorknob? Make it shine. If you have wrought iron, clean it or paint it. Wash the windows so that they gleam.  Make your home look cared for!

3. Mesh your home to fit into the community. For example, if you live in a neighborhood with alot of young children, it's OK to have a bike in the yard. Most buyers interested in that type of a neighborhood most likely have children as well. Keep your audience in mind as you show your house.

4. Use flowers. If you have room, go for the traditional two large planters -- one on either side of the door or walkway. Fill them to overflowing with flowers if it's spring or summer or evergreens in the cooler months, she says.

This will create a focal point, forcing home buyers to focus on one area rather than the whole home at once. Consider hanging a colorful flag out front to draw in the buyers' eye. Or put a seasonal wreath on the door. You really want your home to say, "Come on it!"

5. Apply pressure! If the exterior needs a fresh look, consider getting it pressure washed. (This is a great way to clean trim or walkways and give them a clean, white look.)

6. Make the yard look manicured. Put some fresh mulch or bedding material around the plants in the yard and use a hoe to make the edges of the bedding sharp.

7. Paint. Want to make the house look great without painting the whole thing? Just paint the trim and the front door. And since the porch frames the front door and is the first part of the house buyers will actually visit, make sure it looks freshly painted. But if it needs it, then paint the whole house. The outlay will be well worth the money if you get a clean looking home that moves fast.

8. Invest in landscaping. If you have just a little money to spend, consider visiting a nursery where they can recommend the most bang for your buck. Or, if you don't have a lot of time or a green thumb, think about creating some informal garden areas. 

Your realtor has been through this many times and is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to curb appeal and these easy and inexpensive tips should be able to get you started!

Rose Price, CIPS, CRP

Prudential Landmark Real Estate
Champaignrose.com

 

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